Business of Sport
Springboks stay connected
John Smit and Peter de Villiers with Enzo Scarcella (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - The Springboks will stay close to home no matter where they are in the world following the coming together of associate sponsors Vodacom and Acer to produce a technology package to keep the Boks connected.
Each member of the squad was presented with the latest Acer Iconia A501 tablet at their Johannesburg training headquarters on Wednesday, as well as with the 3G bandwidth from Vodacom to ensure they can stay in touch from anywhere in the world.
The presentation was jointly made by the companies’ managing directors, Sipho Maseko of Vodacom and Acer’s Graham Braum.
The sleek and lightweight Acer Iconia A501 contains a number of innovative features and is preloaded with the Acer’s clear.fi media sharing system to allow the Springboks to easily access, play and share multimedia files.
“When we looked at the Springboks’ season we realised that staying in touch, being connected with home and being entertained was going to be one of the biggest challenges in what is a very intense year,” said Enzo Scarcella, Vodacom Marketing Managing Executive.
“At Vodacom we like to say we make it possible and as associate sponsors we wanted to show our support to the team in a very tangible way and this was our solution. The Acer Iconia A501 is light, is fully HD and allows players to email and Skype home from the team bus on the other side of the world.”
Vodacom has also pre-loaded an icon that gives the team an immediate taste of home – and allows them to see how the nation has united behind them this season.
Thousands of South Africans from all around the world have joined Vodacom’s Bokke Shosholoza campaign, uploading video files of themselves singing the popular anthem.
Those uploads have been added to the biggest virtual stadium online. By opening the website and clicking on one of the thousands of faces captured in the ‘stadium’, the Springboks will be regaled by a Bok fan singing Shosholoza as Vodacom makes it possible for the Boks to see and hear the support of South Africans. The virtual stadium lives at www.vodacom.co.za/rugby
and goes live on Thursday.
The performances have been turned into a TV commercial which will be aired for the first time at the Fans’ Farewell in Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton, on Thursday.
Acer’s Graham Braum said: "We are delighted with the impact our technology is having on the way that the Springbok team operates. The Springbok team is a great case study to show how our technology empowers people and helps them to be more productive, connected and efficient.”
Jurie Roux, SARU CEO, said: “This is a great initiative by two of our associate sponsors and is much appreciated by the players. Helping the players stay in touch and entertained will be critical over the coming two months.”
John Smit, Graeme Braum, Peter de Villiers, Sipho Maseko and Jean de Villiers (Gallo Images)